Str. Maria Hagi Moscu Nr. 17, Sector 1, 011153, Bucuresti
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Str. Maria Hagi Moscu Nr. 17, Sector 1, 011153, Bucuresti
Tel. editură : 021 223 23 28 Fax : 021 223 23 25
Tel. departament difuzare : 021 223 23 24, 021 223 23 37
E-mail :,

On the Book

Never Mind the Balkans, Here's Romania

Mike  Ormsby

« Written by a British author and published by a Romanian house, this is a very interesting editorial enterprise. The fact that most stories end on a funny note does not mean the author is at peace. It’s a technical device: the humour seduces. He’s even been nominated as our British Caragiale“. »

Ema Stere,
Time Out
nr. 822, 11-17 iulie 2008, pp. 48-49,


« Ormsby does not write about „the eternal and fascinating Romania“ of tourist guidebooks but about attending tenants’ meetings, and about taxi drivers. In the current absence of humorous testimony on such contemporary details, Grand Bazar Romania can be compared with the work of travel writers in centuries past. »

Robert Balan,
23 iunie 2008,


« I opened the book and began to read. Before I could finish it, an American journalist friend „borrowed“ it. I had to get a second copy. I'm not letting anybody see it until I'm done. »

Andreea Demirgian, jurnalist,
Radio Romania International


« Mike Ormsby is a very good portraitist, who knows how and where to use contrast, colour, movement, and irony.


Iulia Deleanu,
Observator cultural*articleID_22875-articles_details.html


« Has Mike Ormsby has ever read Caragiale’s Moments and Sketches? I don’t know. But Ormsby's collection of stories is so good, it could be called Moments and sketches Reloaded“. »

Mihaela Spineanu, editor,
ELLE (Romania), 
Primavara 2008,
in exclusive preview
Puzzle Romanesc


« Romania has found itself a British Caragiale. The book makes you die laughing at out national failings, the sort that drive some less-tolerant Romanians abroad. »

Raluca Ion,


« He does not flatter or indulge us, nor does he play our national sport of turning away, indifferent. If Mike was a time traveller, he'd take antibiotics to stop the Black Death. But that would be impossible. It would mean changing history. »

Elena Vladareanu,
Romania Libera


« Mike Ormsby has not the slightest intention of flattering us, nor of treating us with the superiority of those coming from the civilised world to the backward East. He insists on writing exactly what he sees, lives and feels in today's colourful Romania.
His western mentality is that of someone formed in a system that has worked for generations, of someone who has in his blood politeness and respect for law and human rights, as well as civic responsibility. This way of thinking is constantly contradicted by aberrations that to us appear normal.
Put simply, it's very hard for him to understand the lack of reliability and punctuality, the infernal and idiotic bureaucracy, the national institution of bri es and petty envy, the bad manners, the impunity of cheats and the ostentatious arrogance of the nouveau riche, the poor work ethic and cruelty to animals.
He's likeable, lucid, with a big soul and a lot of humour. The English journalist offers neither a façade, nor caricature, but reality - today's Romania. »

Adriana Bittel,
Formula AS

« It's about Romanians in transition, still tainted by the national experience
of Communism, those who do not seem to know how to use the freedom they won in 1990. The book offers Romania a mirror, made in England. »

Christian Mititelu,
former Head of BBC World Service Romanian section


« The stories are juicy, full of charm, unified by a lot of English humour »

Claudia Craiu,
Ziarul de Iasi


« Romanian clichés treated with intelligence and a unique, subtle irony. This merits pride of place on any bookshelf. »

Mihai Gadalean,
Foaia Transilvana


« A bittersweet, accessible read, where Romanians can see their portrait in an English mirror. I devoured it in one sitting, with a range of feelings: from exultation to indignation, from surprise to who-cares, from pleasure to anger. A very well written book, carefully constructed and extremely intelligent. If it travels abroad, it will have a lethal effect. »

Eduard Tone,
editor, FHM


« Too many books or articles present Romania and its people in beautiful colours and too many stress the dark side, until it shocks. This author succeeds by showing a high degree of professionalism to present the facts as they are with subtle irony when the context requires. »


« Romania is graced with two kinds of foreigner. One sort is here on corporate junkets. They're usually cosseted in hotels and can't see much beyond the bar. The other sort sticks. We're dug in deep. We live in the streets, talk with the locals and deal first-hand with their ways and institutions. Judging by his book, Mike Ormsby is a sticker of some distinction. His reports from the front line are precise, detailed and a joy to read. »

Frank O'Connor,
Vivid (expat magazine, Romania)


« Ormsby recounts the mishaps, muddles and privations that make daily life hard in Romania for Romanians, and even harder for outsiders. But through it all comes a strange sort of affection for a place, and its people, as they struggle to regain their sanity after the years of madness under Ceausescu.
The author... Hamlet-like, refuses to go with the flow and battles against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a relish that leaves most of his Romanian friends, and probably not a few readers too, bemused but amused in equal measure. If you're going to Romania, it's better than a guide book. »

Ivor Gaber,
Tribune (UK)


« Mike Ormsby sees Romania very clearly. Sometimes we surprise him, sometimes he challenges us. Nevertheless, he clearly appreciates our charisma, confidence and warmth. »

Mihaela Spineanu,
Elle (Romania)